In 1862 James Clerk Maxwell published a paper that explained his unification of electric and magnetic physical laws and demonstrated that light is an electromagnetic phenomenon. Using modern notation, his scheme can be summarized in two mathematical lines:

Contained in these lines are equations that explain how radio waves, microwaves and x-rays behave. Technologies such as microwave ovens, satellite communications and cellphones rely on this knowledge. Albert Einstein used the revelation contained in these equations to develop his theory of special relativity.Two simple lines, resulting from hundreds of years of scientific inquiry, which are the starting point of our modern electronic age.

– Roy Wensley, Dean of the School of Science

Editor’s note: Rather than publish a poem on this page, as we usually do, we decided to share instead the compact elegance of an important mathematical equation.

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